Have a Question About Filing for Bankruptcy?

Have a Question About Filing for Bankruptcy?

See what our bankruptcy attorney has to say in Westwood, MA

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, you'll have many questions for a bankruptcy attorney. The Law Office of Joseph G Butler is here to help you by providing bankruptcy services in Westwood, MA. To learn more about our bankruptcy services, view our FAQs below.

The following questions do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. We are a debt relief agency that helps clients file for bankruptcy relief under bankruptcy code.

How often can I file for bankruptcy?

An individual debtor who receives a discharge in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not eligible to receive another discharge for 8 years. A debtor who receives a discharge in a Chapter 12 or Chapter 13 case is not eligible to receive another discharge for 6 years unless, in the earlier case, either 100% of the debt was paid in full or 70% of the debt was paid and the plan was "proposed in good faith" and was the "debtor's best effort."

Cases are sometimes dismissed without the debtor having received a discharge in the case. Depending upon when and why the case was dismissed, in some circumstances a debtor may not be eligible to file another case for 180 days.

Can I file for bankruptcy on some of the accounts I owe, or do I have to include all of them?

All debts must be scheduled in a bankruptcy proceeding. Under some circumstances, individuals may choose to reaffirm certain of their debts during the bankruptcy.

Can I eliminate all my debts by discharging them in bankruptcy? Can I wipe out all my debts after bankruptcy?

Most debts are discharged in bankruptcy proceedings. Certain kinds of debts, including alimony, child support and some types of tax debt, are not dischargeable, and student loans are sometimes discharged, but usually are not. Creditors may, in some specific circumstances, file complaints in individual bankruptcy cases, seeking to have the debts that are owed to those creditors excepted from the debtor's discharge.

If I file for bankruptcy, will the cosigner of my loan still have to pay?

A co-signer will continue to be obligated to pay a debt, unless the co-signer also files for bankruptcy. There is, however, a "co-debtor stay" in Chapter 13 cases which will delay, at least for some period, any effort to collect from a co-signer.

What are the differences between secured and unsecured debts?

Basically, a secured debt is one in which a creditor has a lien on, or an interest in, property that belongs to the debtor, to secure payment of the debt. A mortgage on real estate or creditor with a lien on an automobile are common examples of secured debt. There are other types of secured debt. For example, typically, a municipality will, by statute, have a lien on real estate to secure payment of real estate taxes. Sometimes creditor will obtain judicial liens on assets of debtors. Unsecured debt is any debt that is not secured by a lien on property. In bankruptcy, secured claims are treated differently than unsecured claims.

Can I file for bankruptcy and stop a lawsuit or wipe out a money judgment against me?

The filing of a bankruptcy petition creates an automatic stay, which will stop, at least for some period of time, a lawsuit or any other attempt by a creditor (including foreclosure of a mortgage or repossession of a car) to collect a debt. In most bankruptcy cases, the automatic stay remains in effect until a discharge is received. Most, but not all, money judgments are dischargeable in bankruptcy.

What property can I keep, if anything, if I file for bankruptcy?

Individuals who file for bankruptcy are entitled to claim certain property as exempt. What they can keep is determined by the value of the assets that they have when they file, the exemptions that they choose, and the status of any claims secured by those assets.

Can I keep my home if I file for bankruptcy?

Many, but not all, individuals who file for bankruptcy are able to keep their homes. Whether an individual will be able to keep a home in a bankruptcy is a complicated question and will depend upon many factors, including the value of the home, the amount and status of any liens on the property, the amount of any exemption that may be claimed by the individual and whether the individual has the ability to continue paying any claims secured by mortgages on the property and, in some instances, the ability to continue paying those claims and to cure any payment default on those claims through a Chapter 13 plan.

Can I keep my retirement account or Social Security payment if I file for bankruptcy?

ERISA-qualified retirement accounts and Social Security payments are exempt and individual debtors are able to keep those assets in bankruptcy proceedings.

Can I file for bankruptcy and keep my inheritance?

The answer to this question depends upon a number of things, including when an individual becomes entitle to receive an inheritance, the amount or value of what is inherited, the value of the other assets of the individual at the time the bankruptcy is filed and how much of the inheritance may be claimed as exempt.

Still have a question about bankruptcy? Call 781-636-3638 today to speak with a bankruptcy attorney.